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Victoria HarbourCats | HarbourCats Optimistically Preparing for 2021 Season

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An open letter to our wonderful fans

from Jim Swanson, GM/Managing Partner

February 3, 2021

Dear Loyal Fans:

We will come out of this, folks. And when we do, the Victoria HarbourCats will be stronger than ever.

Bet your bippy every single person with the HarbourCats organization believes that, and is ready for it.

Covid (hate the c-word) has taken a strip off so many. It’s done it to us. It’s brought entire industries to their knees. Covid hates baseball, hates sports, apparently. But baseball, and your HarbourCats, are stronger than that.

Bank on this — when we’re told we can play, we’ll be READY. Our sister franchise in Nanaimo will be ready, too.  Doesn’t matter if we find out on May 15, or May 30, we’ll be good to go. The work is being done, and we’re ready to lose these chains and get back to community, to entertainment, to baseball.

To that end, as you may have seen, we’ve hired another MLB-veteran for our coaching staff, we are starting to re-ticket customers who held 2020 tickets (stay tuned for more important news on this), we are ramping up contact with our sponsors and we are touching base with players and host families, all in the anticipation and hope of playing in June of 2021.

Time is on our side, like it sadly isn’t for other sports. Hard not to see a scenario where our other great local sports partners (hello, Royals and Grizzlies), who do so much in the community, have their winter wiped out — like our summer was in a dreadful 2020. We hope they come back, but it looks bleak.

We think the HarbourCats (and Shamrocks, too!) have a chance to lead the community’s cheering of a return to normal. Of enough people getting jabbed in the arm at (hopefully) round-the-clock drive-through vaccination sites that we can safely enjoy an outdoor sporting event. A concert. A gathering in the inner harbour.

Imagine how good that first hotdog will taste. That first HarbourCats Ballpark Blonde ale, that first sip.

What we promise is this — to all our partners, to all our fans, who have supported us through this, all your patience will never be forgotten. It’ll be revered, and will take up a chapter in the book someday. Tickets purchased, or sponsorships paid for and rolled ahead — we WILL ensure that value is still there — and then some. NO RISK and ALL REWARD to you, our faithful fans and sponsors.

Thank you — keep wearing those HarbourCats t-shirts and hoodies and caps as proudly as ever, so we can get back to the life we love on Vancouver Island.

The HarbourCats will be back. The Nanaimo NightOwls will get started. Baseball will return, and it’ll light up the city’s Stadium District again, with home runs, and kids smiling, and the familiar Coho horn sounding clearly from the harbour, like we just scored another run. The fireworks will be even that much better.

See you at the park soon!

Jim Swanson

+++++++++

HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR HARBOURCATS

Season Tickets and 10-Game Flex Packs Now Available! (NOTE:  Single game tickets will go on-sale in early 2021)

If you are able, or if you know friends and colleagues who are able, please consider any of the following:

2021 Season tickets — the best way to help, one that guarantees you seats to all our games (usually 35 per year or so) plus other season ticket holder perks. Contact chris@harbourcats.com for details. SEASON TICKET PROMOTION NOW ON!  Get a free Prince of Whales whale watching pass (145.00 value) with every season ticket purchase! Plus other great perks!  Details HERE!

 

10-Game Flex Packs / Vouchers — Don’t want to commit, or can’t commit to season tickets? Consider 10-game flex packs – anytime vouchers that can be used in any combination…10 tickets at one game, 1 ticket at 10 games or anything in between. Season ticket voucher equivalents (35 vouchers) are also available.  Flex Packs can be purchased at the office and are also available on-line at:  https://victoria-harbourcats-official.myshopify.com/products/10-game-flex-pack-general-admission

Corporate Partnerships – Want to put your company name or brand in front of our 100,000 fans every season?  Or know someone who does?  Consider joining us as a partner.  From a simple program ad, to the most complex of game day sponsorship, complete with signage and tickets, we will customize any campaign to suit your needs and budget.  And with our new HCATS.TV platform and our ownership group’s expansion of a new team in Nanaimo in 2021, the opportunities are now Island wide! Contact john@harbourcats.com for details.

Fundraising / 50-50 – Have an organization that needs to raise funds now?  A $1000 investment buys you 100 anytime 2021 game vouchers for our Premium Reserved seats that you can then turn around and sell for $20 each, earning you your investment back, plus another $1000 in return. We will then hold a 50-50 date for you in 2021 and you can bring your group to the park to sell that game, taking home 50% of the proceeds. Contact chris@harbourcats.com for details.

Merchandise – Consider a HarbourCats merchandise purchase from our store at 1814 Vancouver Street, or from our on-line store, The Cat Shop, at https://victoria-harbourcats-official.myshopify.com/ New items, including 2020 game caps and player’s gear are arriving weekly and we need to clear them out!

OFFICE HOURS

For January and February, we are officially open Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm.  We are often in and out of office during off-season, so best to call 778-265-0327 before venturing over to make sure. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

For up to date details on the HarbourCats and the 2021 West Coast League season, stay tuned to the HarbourCats web site at https://www.harbourcats.com and join the HarbourCats Facebook Fan Community Group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/harbourcats

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Victoria HarbourCats – Baseball is Back! Golden Tide Split DH with VIU

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First baseball at Royal Athletic Park in over two years

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

September 19, 2021, Victoria BC – The smell of hot dogs was in the air and the crack of the bat was back, as baseball made it’s first appearance at Wilson’s Group Stadium in over two years, as the Victoria Golden Tide hosted the Vancouver Island University Mariners in Canadian College Baseball Conference exhibition play.

A pretty decent crowd was on hand Sunday to witness the first baseball back at Royal Athletic Park in over two years (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Over 300 fans came out to enjoy the return of baseball on what turned into a beautiful fall day and they got their money’s worth, watching an exciting 11-10 Mariners win in game one, with the home team rebounding for a 16-3 win in game two.

The Mariners, including Dillon Bowie were on base early and often against the Tide in game one (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In game one, the Mariners came in with their bats hot, vaulting themselves to a 10-2 lead after three innings of play, thanks in part to a second inning grand slam from Keegan Chard-Hill, but then watched as the Tide chipped their way back into the game.

VIUs Keegan Chard-Hill (right) is congratulated after his second inning grand slam in game one (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

A big part of the Tide rally was their own grand slam homerun in the sixth inning by Alex McLauclan that made the score 10-7 at the time.

The Mariners would score what turned out to be the winning run in the seventh, and then hung on as the Tide scored two in the bottom of the eighth and another in the bottom of the ninth, leaving the tying run on base, as the Mariners escaped with the 11-10 win.

Victoria’s Alex McLauclan launches his sixth inning grand slam in game one Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

For the Mariners, Chard Hill led the way with his slam and an RBI single. Trevor Nicoll also had a single, triple, home run, four RBI and three runs scored, while Ty Farwell and Max Kolopeniuk added a single and double each.

For the Tide, in addition to his big blast, McLauclan added a single and pair of runs scored. Brady Alexandre, Brendan Morrison and Brandon Green also had a pair of hits each, while Tyler Burton had a double and run scored in the losing effort.

The Golden Tide’s Brandon Craven head’s to third base during the Tide’s 16-3 game two win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Jaden Patrick got the start for the Mariners and was effective through six innings of work, his only real mistake being the grand slam to McLauclan. Carter Chard-Hill, saw action in relief.

For the Tide, Triston Seitz got the start and was roughed up early. Nick Lee, Cameron Dunn and Haldon Craig all saw action in relief.

In game two, the Tide kept their offence rolling, jumping into a 4-1 lead after three innings of play and then cruising to an easy 16-3 win.

The Tide’s Nate Horricks delivers a pitch in game two Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Nine of those runs came in the eighth inning, as a short staffed Mariners squad surrendered six walks in the innning, forcing the game to be called as a result of a mercy rule.

Leading the way for the Tide was Andrew Baxter with a single, double and pair of runs scored, while Austin Wall had a pair of hits and an RBI. Jaxson Cordle also had a pair of singles and a run scored.

The Tide’s Austin Wall had a pair of hits and an RBI in the game two win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

On the mound, Wyatt Mohr-Royer got the start, giving up one run in his three innings of work. Nate Horricks and Ethan Lynn saw work in relief.

The Golden Tide are back in action next Saturday, September 25th as they host University of the Fraser Valley for a doubleheader at Wilson’s Group Stadium. First game time is 1:00 pm. Tickets are just 5.00 and 10.00 and are available at the gate or in advance at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or by calling 778-265-0327.

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Golden Tide ready to roll

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Mark Brennae named PA announcer for Golden Tide

VICTORIA, B.C. — The Victoria Golden Tide are ready to begin their 2021 Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) Fall Season tonight – weather permitting – and when they do, a familiar voice will be the park voice of Victoria’s newest sports team.

Mark Brennae (photo, right), well-known from his days on the afternoon drive at CFAX 1070, is as big a baseball fan as they come — he will never give up the dream of his beloved Expos returning to Montreal. A former beat writer for the AAA Ottawa Lynx, then the farm team of the Expos, Brennae covered the NHL and CFL for The Canadian Press for 15 years, and also worked in radio covering a variety of topics in Toronto and Ottawa, including Parliament Hill.

“We’re glad to have Mark handling this key role for our new CCBC team, and he’s excited to be behind the microphone,” said Christian Stewart, Assistant GM of the parent Victoria HarbourCats.

The first game for the Golden Tide, operated by the HarbourCats, presented by Hub International Insurance and led by Head Coach Curtis Pelletier, is slated for tonight (Friday), 6pm first pitch against the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP — the first baseball at the historic sports facility since August of 2019, when the HarbourCats played in the WCL final. The Golden Tide also have a doubleheader slated for 1pm on Sunday vs. the Nanaimo-based VIU Mariners. Gates for all games open one hour before the scheduled game time.

Some notes for the first home weekend of Golden Tide baseball:

FOOD TRUCKS AND TIDE GEAR

For a number of reasons, including COVID, there will be no beverage service and less-than-usual food options, but we are glad to announce that Greek on the Street and Little Piggy hotdog stand will be on site on Friday. Fans are welcome to bring their own food to this weekend’s games, or take advantage of the food options. Limited merchandise will be available, Golden Tide and HarbourCats.

TICKETS

There will be tickets sold during the day at the HarbourCats office (1814 Vancouver St. or call 778-265-0327), and at the door (gates open 1 hour before game time), for $10 in the covered Main Grandstand, or $5 in the blue seats. Golden Tide Booster Club members have priority seating in the Campbell Club and Diamond Club (front row) seating area. Booster Club memberships are $200 and include admission to all fall and spring 2022 games, plus a free hat and t-shirt (contact chris@harbourcats.com to set up).

COVID CONSIDERATIONS

The Golden Tide and City of Victoria, owner of the facility, will follow the PHO guidelines for outdoor events. Masks are recommended, and vaccination cards are not required. All Golden Tide staff, volunteers, coaches and players are vaccinated, as required internally by the organization. We ask people to act with kind courtesy — we recommend that masks on when not actively eating or drinking, pay attention to distancing, and respect those who may have some discomfort in crowds as the pandemic is now in its 18th month.

WEATHER

Yes, the forecast is iffy. As none of us can control the weather, we wait, watch, and react — and hope the system moves over and douses someone else. In the case of a rainout, all tickets will be honored at a later Golden Tide game.

GOLDEN TIDE FALL HOME SCHEDULE

SEP. 17, 6PM – TRU WOLFPACK
SEP. 19, 1PM – VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIV. (DH*)
SEP. 25, 1PM – FRASER VALLEY (DH)
SEP. 26, 3PM – MID-ISLAND PIRATES (DH)
OCT. 2, 6PM – VICTORIA MARINERS
OCT. 16, 1PM – VAN. ISLE PREP (DH)
OCT. 17, 1PM – UBC (DH)
OCT. 23, 1PM – TBA (DH)
OCT. 24, 1PM – PARKSVILLE ROYALS (DH)
OCT. 26-31 INTERSQUAD WORLD SERIES
*DH = Double Header

 

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Rain wins, Friday game cancelled

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VICTORIA, B.C. — Unplayable field conditions and an unfavourable forecast have combined to cancel tonight’s planned home debut of the Victoria Golden Tide collegiate baseball team.

The Golden Tide’s fall home schedule, presented by HUB International Insurance, was slated to open Friday at 6pm at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, vs. the Kamloops-based Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, another team in the eight-team Canadian College Baseball Conference.

The Golden Tide, operated by the Victoria HarbourCats and with Head Coach Curtis Pelletier at the helm, will play a doubleheader on Sunday, Sept. 19, starting at 1pm vs. the Nanaimo-based Vancouver Island University Mariners. Gates open at noon, a hotdog stand will be at the games, fans are welcome to bring their own food.

NOTE — Masks are recommended, distancing will be respected, and all Golden Tide personnel are required to be vaccinated — the organization is following PHO orders for outdoor events, cards will not be required but it is highly recommended that all attendees be vaccinated.All tickets for tonight’s game (Friday) will be able to be used at a future Golden Tide game this fall.

SUN SEP. 19, 1PM – VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIV. (DH*)

SAT SEP. 25, 1PM – FRASER VALLEY (DH)

SUN SEP. 26, 3PM – MID-ISLAND PIRATES (DH)

SAT OCT. 2, 6PM – VICTORIA MARINERS

SAT OCT. 16, 1PM – VAN. ISLE PREP (DH)

SUN OCT. 17, 1PM – UBC (DH)

SAT OCT. 23, 1PM – TBA (DH)

SUN OCT. 24, 1PM – PARKSVILLE ROYALS (DH)

OCT. 26-31 INTERSQUAD WORLD SERIES

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